Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Penguin Power

After messing around with XGL -- the most advanced graphical user interface there is for a computer operating system, I've now been using a much older and simpler interface: FVWM.  What is FVWM?  The answer, from their FAQ:

1.1 What does FVWM stand for?

A: "Fill_in_the_blank_with_whatever_f_word_you_like_
at_the_time Virtual Window Manager". Rob Nation
(the original Author of FVWM, doesn't really remember
what the F stood for originally ...
I suppose that one tires of all the fancy do-dads after a while.  Or maybe it is just a desire for something different.  After all, different things always have a certain appeal.

Speaking of that appeal, it has been determined that we now have a "new" species of penguin:
The eyebrows have it for new penguin species
By John Lichfield in Paris
Published: 24 May 2006

In a world full of disappearing or threatened species, here is some good news at last. The planet is about to welcome a new species of penguin.

The birds - a few thousand small penguins on the French islands of Amsterdam and St Paul in the southern Indian Ocean - resemble millions of rockhopper penguins found all around the northern fringe of the Antarctic.

And thanks to the stubborn research of a French ornithologist, they have been declared a species in their own right.

Pierre Jouventin, scientist and film-maker and one of the world's foremost experts on penguins, first claimed that the Amsterdam and St Paul rockhoppers were a separate species 25 years ago. [...]

His claims were dismissed by other ornithologists. Now, two years before his retirement, Mr Jouventin, 63, has been vindicated. In a forthcoming article in the magazine Molecular Ecology he will reveal DNA tests which show that the Amsterdam and St Paul rockhoppers are a distinct species. [...]

This is a nice illustration of the power of close observation, combined with a little intuition, and a lot of perseverance.